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  • Book Review: iPhone in Action (Giveaway Inside)


    Some time ago the folks at Manning sent me a handful of copies of iPhone in Action by Christopher Allen and Shannon Appelcline for review. After spending a few weeks reading through this book devoted to both Web and SDK development for the iPhone I can conclusively say that iPhone in Action is quite the useful iPhone development guide.

    Before going any further let me start off by saying iPhone in Action is not for the newcomer with zero developing experience. If you have zero experience with web development the web development portion will not give you all the tools you need to create the iPhone web app of your dreams. The same goes for those interested in developing a native app with the SDK as the book just doesn't go deep enough into Objective-C to be your only reference.

    The folks this book is really targeted to (and perfect for) are those people that have done some web development and/or have experience in Objective-C that are looking for some help and guidance as they venture into development for the iPhone. iPhone in Action excels at providing detailed, organized, and clear information on the development particularities concerning the iPhone.

    Web Development

    iPhone in Action was originally intended to be a web development book by the authors and it shows. They even state as much during the Preface. After a short introduction section of Web vs. SDK iPhone in Action dives into web development so deeply that it could be one of if not the most complete iPhone web development books around. Seriously I can't say I have seen any single iPhone-specific web development publication as good as this one.

    The web dev section starts out with the basics of chrome manipulation, using WebKit, and UI design. Going a bit deeper than I expected the web dev section continues further into a very nice chapter discussing the use of Canvas to create shapes. Afterwards there is a chapter that give a quick overview of how to use Dashboard to make iPhone web apps (I wasn't aware Dashboard was suited for that) and then everything is rounded off with some debugging discussion. Considering the wealth of knowledge shared the web dev section is relatively small only taking up 130 pages out of the book's 400.

    SDK Development

    The brunt of the book is devoted to creating native apps. This section of the book is fairly fast paced but not overwhelming to anyone familiar with any Obj-C. I would even go as far as to say the pace of the book is refreshing as you glide through developing different simple example applications. Nothing in great detail but perfect for the developer stepping into the iPhone arena.

    The order of topics covered is logical starting out with an introduction to Obj-C (extremely short -- if you have no experience buy a Obj-C book before continuing), then going into Xcode, followed by a section chapter dedicated to the Interface Builder. After those building blocks have been laid out iPhone in Action continues from more basic to more advanced, view actions to internet protocols. Following everything step by step and typing out the code examples as you go will undoubtedly leave you with a solid understanding of iPhone programing and point you in the correct direction to creating and designing your application.

    Conclusion

    iPhone in Action is the must-have book for developers looking to enter the realm of iPhone development. What makes iPhone in Action unique as an iPhone development resource is that it covers both Web and SDK development in a friendly and clear manner without ever "babying" you. If you have the fundamentals of web development or Objective-C or both and are thinking about diving into iPhone development this book is for you. Even if you are a complete beginner and are devoted to learning iPhone in Action is a excellent resource when paired with some other more topic specific readings like a dedicated Obj-C book.

    Do you want a copy of your own? The publisher Manning Publications was kind enough to give me four copies to pass along to four random people who post a reply to this thread! Simply start your post out with:

    "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."

    followed by whatever you see fit. Four lucky winners will be randomly selected on March 4th, 2009.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Book Review: iPhone in Action (Giveaway Inside) started by Cody Overcash View original post
    Comments 51 Comments
    1. Eikcuhc's Avatar
      Eikcuhc -
      iPhone in Action would help me...
      create some really nice apps that have been sitting in my head for awhile
    1. xboy360's Avatar
      xboy360 -
      iPhone in Action would help me become an assembly of iPhone Apps (as well as becoming a guru of Apple's poorly documented iPhone SDK)!
    1. msboy2011's Avatar
      msboy2011 -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."

      I have so any great ideas!!!
    1. wannagotopopeyes's Avatar
      wannagotopopeyes -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ." create great apps on the iPhone that I could share with everyone, take hints/ideas from other users on what they would like to see on the iPhone, and aid me in the right direction of actually getting it done to benefit not myself with money or anything but everyone else: the iPhone dev. community! If I can get a solid handle and way around iPhone coding I can strive to bring the users anything/everything they want to see on the iPhone simply because I love coding and developing!

      I just need to learn a bit more Obj-C (I'm a java guy) and how the programs are laid out, and I can and WILL make seriously awesome apps for free that everyone will love.

      Please help me out!!!
    1. mikeg21's Avatar
      mikeg21 -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."
      Start programming some apps.
      Been interested in doing this lately and it would be awesome to get this book!
    1. lillewis51's Avatar
      lillewis51 -
      "iphone in action would help me..."

      well ive been trying to learn obj-c for a little while now. im in a class for it. this book would be a great help!

      and if anyone wants the basics check here http://www.cocoalab.com/BecomeAnXcoder.pdf
    1. mobsta's Avatar
      mobsta -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."


      so i can mke apps for cydia n keep the jb community strong
    1. shahir29's Avatar
      shahir29 -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."

      Well i was planning create some apps for the iPhone.
    1. Sip's Avatar
      Sip -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ." build and port applications that are available on other platforms as well as new apps for VoIP.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      "iPhone in Action wouldn't help me . . ."
      because I'm not a developer. Hope this goes to someone who will make use of it.
      Nice to see another givaway - even if it is of no use to me.
      Good luck to all you developers!
    1. Nick Z's Avatar
      Nick Z -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."


      I'm going to school for Software Development and would love to learn how to create apps for the iPhone. It would be a good stepping stone to get started. Thanks.
    1. danielbonnells's Avatar
      danielbonnells -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."
      Iphone in action would help me develop iphone applications so that i can make millions soon!
    1. KeviN | NiveK's Avatar
      KeviN | NiveK -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."

      get closer to my iPhone.., and to the community !
    1. jabij1's Avatar
      jabij1 -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."
      with my very limited knowlege of software programming and developing. I plan on pursuing a career in computer science and am going into a computer science and mathematics program next year in college. So excited and I'm sure this book will be an awesome book to own. iPhone+programming=awesomeness...Thanks for the opportunity!!
    1. julianqm2's Avatar
      julianqm2 -
      iPhone in Action would help me because i am trying to get a start on developing for the iPhone/iPod touch. i have read a bit of this book at barnes and nobile and its a great book, but i dont have the money to purchase it. i was going to torrent it but i dont believe in piracy.
    1. ♻①☛'s Avatar
      ♻①☛ -
      "iPhone in Action would help me..."

      because I really want to start developing some apps
    1. Gorgos's Avatar
      Gorgos -
      iPhone in Action would help me buying a new macbook, because i am thinking atm about buying a new macbook, if i win this book, i will do this. I always wanted to program sth for the iPhone.
    1. meaintsmart's Avatar
      meaintsmart -
      "iPhone in Action would help me . . ."

      It would help me put what I know to the test and actually attempt to create what I or other would like to use 'mobiley'.
    1. Quister's Avatar
      Quister -
      "iPhone in Action would help me ..." in achieving my life's purpose: To obtain a toilet seat made of solid gold.
    1. Daiskei's Avatar
      Daiskei -
      iPhone in Action would help me... in various ways, I've recently began looking into developement on the iPhone platform and have taken the first steps into the world of Obj-C, I essentially want to create an application that will be useful for myself as well as others. iPhone in Action would be a large stepping stone in the process of learning to do so. ^_~